America's Founding Documents

Join the Signers of America's Founding Documents

Add your name and become a signer of one of America's Founding Documents!

In 1776, the Declaration of Independence declared that American colonists were breaking free from British rule. In 1787, the Constitution established the United States government.

To begin, select one of the founding documents below.

Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of Independence

On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence. The document was engrossed on parchment and, one by one, 56 representatives from all 13 colonies signed it.

Constitution

The Constitution of the United States

The Constitutional Convention assembled in Philadelphia in 1787 to revise America's first constitution, the Articles of Confederation - but they decided to draft an entirely new frame of government. On September 17, 1787, thirty-eight delegates signed the new United States Constitution.

1. Choose your penmanship style

2. Type your name in the box below

3. Are you sure you want to sign the Declaration of Independence?

If you had been a member of the Second Continental Congress in 1776, you were a rebel and considered a traitor by the King. You knew that a reward had been posted for the capture of certain prominent rebel leaders and the largest British armada ever assembled was just outside New York harbor. Affixing your name to the document meant that you pledged your life, your fortune, and your sacred honor to the cause of freedom.

If you had been a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787, you would have spent three hot summer months in secret sessions debating the new Constitution. Some of the biggest questions were how much power to give the central government, how many representatives each state should have in Congress, and how representatives should be elected. Loyal to their states and wary about centralized power, representing wildly different interests and views, the delegates crafted compromises. Thirty-eight of the 42 men present signed the Constitution (one delegate signed for another who was absent, bringing the total to 39). Three refused to sign because the Constitution lacked a bill of rights.

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